USA employers added 209,000 net new jobs in July, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%, matching a 16-year-low first reached in May, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.
The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.3 per cent, a level not seen since October 2008, as the number of people looking for work declined, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
Employment rose in restaurants and bars, white collar jobs, and health care.
The average monthly job gain over the first seven months of 2017 was 184,000. According to The PayScale Index, which tracks the change in wages for employed US workers, wages increased 2.4 percent from Q2 2016 to Q2 2017.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose in July by nine cents to $26.36 per hour. Average hourly earnings crept up to 0.3 per cent, from 0.2 per cent the year before.
Additionally, 1.6 million people were considered marginally attached to the labor force; they are unemployed but want and are available to work, and had looked for a job sometime in the previous 12 months.
Last month, the economy added 231,000 jobs. For example, the calendar sometimes causes an undershoot in the pace of wage growth in months when the 15th - payday for many people - falls after the survey week for the jobs report. McDonald's (MCD) said in mid-June that the fast-food chain and its franchisees will add 250,000 workers this summer - more than the Golden Arches hired a year ago. "It's worth paying those higher wages", Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said in a interview this week.
"This has been a slow jobs recovery, and teens are always at the bottom of the labor market queue", said Paul Harrington, an education professor and director of the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University.
The July data was fuelled by the addition of 35,100 full-time jobs, offset by the loss of 24,300 part-time positions. "However, we're starting to see a trend for that particular group with modest rises in labor force participation and downward ticks in unemployment", she said.
But wage growth is sluggish.
The unemployment rate is also down to 4.3 percent. These wage growth numbers remain below the 3.0% or more growth that was the norm before the recession.
Only 900 jobs were added in retail, but other industries saw major gains.
One issue may be that workers aren't changing jobs.